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Dartmoor was designated one of the National Parks of England and Wales in 1951. It 368 square miles of beautiful moorland landscape with wooded valleys and wind swept Tors. There is currently about 33,000 people living in the park which sees about another 10 million visitors each year.

With approximately 600 miles of public rights of way, Dartmoor is extremely popular with Walkers, Horse Riders and Letterboxers (ask about that last one when you get here!).

Dartmoor is a rich habitat for wildlife and has a wealth of archaeological remains most visible of these are the numerous standing stones and hut circles.




Some Dartmoor Walkers enjoy a picnic at Saddle Tor.




The famous Dartmoor Ponies.




The moody Bellever woods along the East Dart River.


We would like to thank the Dartmoor National Park authority for the use of this information and images. All above images are Copyright Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2000.

Click Here for more information on The Dartmoor National Park, including fact sheets, geographical and ecological information and an online shop.



 Beyond Ashburton
Ashburton is the only town to be entirely in the Dartmoor National Park boundaries and lies on the far Southern fringes of the park. Dotted around Dartmoor you'll find lots of interesting Villages and Hamlets. This page will give you a brief introduction to some of these places.

To the South of Ashburton lies the South Hams which stretches down to an outstandingly beautiful coastline and The English Riviera.


 Dartmoor Towns and Villages
Widecombe-in-the-Moor - This small Idyllic Village lies a few miles North-West of Ashburton in the Widecombe Valley, and is probably most famous for its fair which is still held every September and is well worth a look.

Princetown - Princetown is pretty much in the centre of the moor and is the highest town in England, standing approximately 1500 feet above sea level. It is now mostly a tourist town most famous for its Prison.

Bovey Tracey - The Village of Bovey Tracey lies on the south eastern foothills of Haytor(see left). The River Bovey flows under a bridge which was crossed by Oliver Cromwell on his way to the battle of Bovey Heath in 1646. It has a good selection of small shops and some fine attractions. see our Family Attractions page.

Buckfastleigh - Ashburton's nearest neighbour, Buckfastleigh is a historic mill town. Most famous for the nearby Buckfast Abbey, a working Benedictine Abbey famous for its Bees and Tonic Wine. see our Family Attractions page.

Moretonhampstead - this old market town lies on an historic cross roads on the eastern slopes of the National Park. It is reputed to be one of the most haunted towns in Britain.



Widecombe in the moor




Mortenhampstead main street


 The English Riviera and The South Hams
The English Riviera - Torbay, known as The English Riviera due to its mild climate, sandy beaches and palm trees, encompasses the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. It is a hotspot for tourists with a wealth of family oriented attractions, good restaurants and lively nightlife.

Brixham is a busy fishing port with buzzing quayside shops and cafes. Paignton is a much more family orientated town with, its long sandy beach and Victorian seaside pier. While Torquay is top of the pile for its nightlife, with fantastic hotels and glitzy marina.

The South Hams - The South Hams has the best of both worlds, fantastic rolling countryside, peaceful country towns and one of the most beautiful coastlines in britain.

The ancient market town of Totnes is steeped in History and today is well known for its alternative way of life. From its prominent position on the River Dart it was originally a fortified Saxon settlement, built to protect the upper reaches of the river from Viking raids. A Norman Castle stills stands at the top of the main street.

Down on the mouth of the river, as its name suggests, is the ancient Naval port of Dartmouth. The Britannia Royal Naval College is still situated here today and the deep-water harbour and river are used for both commercial and pleasure purposes all year round. This Historical Naval town is well worth a visit.


Torquay Inner Harbour




Looking Across Dartmouth Harbour



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